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13TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE BRITISH HIV ASSOCIATION (BHIVA) AT THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE 26TH – 28TH APRIL 2007

A three day conference, organised by the British HIV Association (BHIVA) in association with the British Infection Society (BIS), brings together leading clinicians and academics for a programme of presentations, lectures and symposia with the common cause of raising standards in the care and treatment of patients with HIV. BHIVA represents medical aspects of HIV and it develops and promotes good standards of care and treatment for HIV-infected individuals in the UK in every aspect of their lives, from HIV-related illnesses to pregnancy and immunisation. Founded in 1994, the organisation now has over 900 health professional members and is growing fast.

A wide-ranging conference programme reflects the aims and objectives of the organisation with sessions on diagnosis, treatment strategies, co-infection with Hepatitis B and C and the risks and complications linked to HIV-infected patients. Satellite Symposia include HIV in Women with presentations on HIV in Pregnancy and A Patient’s Perspective. Dr. Kevin De Cock of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will attend the Conference to speak at a joint BHIVA/BIS Plenary Session on Tuberculosis on Thursday 26th April.

Professor Margaret Johnson from the Royal Free Hospital in London is Chair of BHIVA and, alongside Dr. Nick Beeching of the British Infection Society, she will welcome over 700 delegates to the Conference.

Says Professor Johnson: “HIV-infected people are very vulnerable to other illnesses and need specific care for many aspects of their general health. The research and insights which will be presented to delegates by our impressive line-up of speakers all relate directly to our key objective of promoting excellence in the care of these people. This goes beyond diagnosis and treatment to the prevention of related illnesses and areas such as care in pregnancy and even immunisation for travel. BHIVA’s work is all about helping health professionals to provide HIV-infected people with high standards of day to day medical care

so that they can enjoy the best possible quality of life and receive the right kind of treatment and advice when it comes to life events such as pregnancy and birth.”

For Dr. Nick Beeching of the British Infection Society the conference is a great example of how the two organisations work together to combine the specific areas of expertise represented by BHIVA with the more general interest in infection of BIS members. This is exemplified by their collaboration on the recently published ‘Standards for HIV Clinical Care’ and ongoing work on major guidelines for opportunistic infections in HIV-infected adults. Dr. Beeching says: “The focus of this event is on the prevention and management of all infections related to HIV to jointly advance and improve the care of HIV-infected people in all aspects of their healthcare throughout their lives”.

Further information on the conference: http://www.bhiva.org/meetings/apr07/april07frameset.html

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Notes to editors:

1. The organisation in the UK to represent medical aspects of HIV, BHIVA has two key objectives:

- For the relief of sickness and protection and preservation of health through the development and promotion of good practice in the treatment of HIV and HIV related illnesses.

- To advance public education in the subjects of HIV and the symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of HIV related illnesses through the promotion of research and the dissemination of the useful results of such research.

2. The British Infection Society was formed in1997 by the merger of the British Society for the Study of Infection and the Clinical Infection Society. It has around 850 members, including infectious disease specialists, microbiologists, public health doctors, infection nurses and other healthcare workers. Some of these also belong to BHIVA. Its aims are to promote the science and practice of medicine in relation to infection and to further research, training and education in the subject. BIS helped BHIVA with the development of the recently published ‘Standards for HIV Clinical Care”.

For further information, interviews and briefings please contact:

Maggie Young or Bronwen Pickering at Ideas PR on 020 738 1900 maggie@ideaslondon.com; bronwen@ideaslondon.com, or Simon Brookes at Ccoms on 020 7378 3430 simon@ccomspr.co.uk

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